The identification of various flow regime boundaries in bubble columns (BCs) is a very important issue because different mass and heat transfers as well as mixing characteristics are observed in each flow regime. In our proposal, the flow regime boundaries will be identified by applying the non-linear chaos theory to Computer Automated Radioactive Particle Tracking (CARPT) and Computed Tomography (CT) data, which will be taken at Washington University in St. Louis (USA) (the outgoing host). Since both CARPT and CT techniques are very sophisticated and expensive, they are not available at any European research centre. Therefore, the accumulation of rich experimental database in the USA and its subsequent treatment by chaotic algorithms at TU Brunswick (Germany) (the reintegration host) will contribute to the enhancement of the EU scientific excellence in the field of BCs. At TU Brunswick (Germany) the chaos theory will be also applied to mass transfer data obtained by means of an optical probe in a high-pres sure (up to 4.0 MPa) BC. In addition, pressure transducers data will be analysed by means of chaos theory.
The above-mentioned measurements will be performed in various organic liquids. Numerous gas distributor layouts will be tested, as well. The application of chaos theory to BCs is a new and emerging research area. BCs exhibit a chaotic behaviour and thus chaos analysis can be a powerful tool for flow regime identification. It was shown that the Kolmogorov entropy (KE) profile exhibits a sudden dip at each regime transition velocity. By means of this criterion will be derived empirical correlations for prediction of the various transitional gas velocities in different gas-liquid systems. A model for KE prediction in each flow regime will be developed, as well. By means of chaos theory will be extracted strategies for selecting the most useful hydrodynamic flow regime and for controlling the chaotic behaviour of different gas-liquid BCs.
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